Music Reviews

CB (Cyclone B): Evil

 Posted by Marc Tater (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
 Edit (5586)
Feb 15 2010
Artist: CB (Cyclone B) (@)
Title: Evil
Format: CD
Label: Advoxya Records (@)
Distributor: Poponaut
Rated: *****
Maybe quite late, I nevertheless would like to reflect this last year latest album of Estonia’s leading Electro/Industrial act, since permanent readers of our site have surely discovered them on here. CB, as Igor and Rad have shortened their band name, have produced with "Evil" a quite complex and atmospheric more thicker outfit than expected. It has been taken nearly 3 years in the making after their last EP "Demolished", and this time was filled with some internal member problems too, to come back with this new album. "Evil" acts for the most part as a typical Dark Electro-minded album in the tradition of Canadian-based patterns like FLA or NUMB. Already the multiple layered intro tune "Sun" is a reflection of this tradition, which focuses lyrically and with the usage of voice-, noise- and environmental-samples on a drastically end time scenario. With "Place Of Nothingness" this duo also reanimates a tune already discovered on the above mentioned EP, here completely revamped. "Sect" may wins the imaginary contest of the most catchiest tune on here, while their beloved usage of vocoder effects on the lead vocals got reanimated with "Negative". No review without a word of criticism – quite often, and with "Restore Point" as being the negative highlight, their inserting of the lead vocals needs definitely some improvement and polishing work. The FX-driven music is that flawless and precise produced, but the vocals play a too important role in the whole mix, that this part seems to be the weakest of these Estonian duo. I would recommend them, not to allow their style of vocal performance alters the complete sound outfit. However the good moments win on this album, which is far away from any TBM- and Hellectro-attributes.

DISTEL: Distel

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Feb 02 2010
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Artist: DISTEL
Title: Distel
Format: 7"
Label: Enfant Terrible (@)
Rated: *****
With one track on the Enfant Terrible compilation "Radio resistencia" at their active, Distel are now releasing, always for the same label, the debut limited to 300 copies 7". Already active as drone/experimental act Hadewych, the guy behind Distel bring on the turntable two great tracks of slow anxious electronic. Whispered vocals and hypnotic loops are the main elements of "Mrk" and "Regn" which, in balance from cold wave and electro industrial, are able to give to minimal pop a new meaning by adding tension and mystery. Great release!

Alien Produkt : Honour vs. Falsehood (The First Step EP)

 Posted by Andre Wiegand   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
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Feb 01 2010
Artist: Alien Produkt
Title: Honour vs. Falsehood (The First Step EP)
Format: CD EP
Label: Advoxya Records
Distributor: web
Rated: *****
Those of you who got a chance to hear Revenge" (2005) and Ignorance" (2007) by Alien Produkt are familiar with their rather unique EBM sound; very club oriented, the beats are comfortable for your feet, nice melodies and some emotional touch is there too. AP changed to another label but did not change its sound. Honour vs Falsehood" is the first EP from the planned two to mark the return of the band that was founded 12 years ago back from their break. In total there are 14 track and over 70 minutes of music here. Two of the compositions have never been released before.
One of the best things about this EP is that it features a relatively high number of remixes of numerous songs instead of boring the listener with 3 tracks remixed in 10 versions each. The only exception from that is "Oscilacion Parasita" presented in 4 versions. Make no mistake the track is good, but listening to it 4 times in an hour is rather tiring as it would be the case with any song, no matter how much you like it.
The remix of "Slender" by Mechanical Moth and "Reality - Out Of Control (blood room remix by asseptic room) are certainly among the most intriguing compositiond on the CD.
To sum it up; this is a solid EBM work that would work just fine in clubs, (also while driving, working out and whenever you may want a kick.)

STRIP IN MIDI SIDE: Strip In Midi Side

 Posted by Maurizio Pustianaz (@)   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
Synth Pop / Electro Pop / Synth-Electronica
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Feb 01 2010
Title: Strip In Midi Side
Format: CD
Rated: *****
Strip In Midi Side is a band coming from Sarno, near Salerno, Italy. They just produced a demo CD with five tracks (you can check four of them on their myspace page): "A strip in your midi side", "Everyday like this", "The dreams", "Bring me down" and "Sweet bastard". They call their style neuro-pop and claim themselves influenced by Depeche Mode and Marilyn Manson. Well produced and mixed Strip In Midi Side's music is a a nice blend of electronic pop and guitar riffs. Personally I hear more Duran Duran than Depeche Mode or Marilyn Manson (check the refrain on "The dream") and this isn't a critique because I love the first two Duran Duran's album as well as the ones recorded with the original line-up reunited. Anyway, Giotto (vocals/synth), Amon (bass/vocals), Maks (guitar) and Akrid (synthesizer/programming/noises) are ready to get signed and they deserve it because their music is energetic, melodic and catchy. "Bring me down", for example, would fit well the alternative dance floors as it is a mix of goth, electro and new wave.

Nitzer Ebb: Industrial Complex

 Posted by Andre Wiegand   Electronics / EBM / Electronica
 Edit (5568)
Jan 26 2010
Artist: Nitzer Ebb
Title: Industrial Complex
Format: CD
Distributor: AL!VE
Rated: *****
It was back in 1982 when Bon Harris and Douglas McCarthy started recording their first demos. Their equipment was very limited: drums, a sequencer and McCarthy’s charismatic voice; all in the vein of the punk culture that was still big in those days. The upshot of those recording was that NE became the flag ship of a new music genre, later labeled as Electronic Body MusicEBM.
NE as a trio featuring Bon Harris, Douglas McCarthy and Jason Payne is responsible for recording such classic albums that innovated the music scene like "That Total Age", "Belief" and "Ebbhead" which every true EBM fan should be familiar with. "Big Hit" of 1995 was the last full length NB album released before the band decided to go separate ways. I think it is clear that "Industrial Complex" is THE most anticipated reunion album of the current year.
My personal impression of the album is throughout positive. NE succeeded to record an up-to-date sounding CD and yet remain loyal to their typical old sound. Another good thing worth mentioning is that McCarthy actually sings on this album unlike the usual case with his other project Fixmer and McCarthy where he mainly shouts.
The opener "Promises" strikes the listener right away with that familiar old-school EBM sound and the lyrics make you deliberate about the time you’ve got on your hands and what to do with it. "The time is not on your side" – how true.
"Going Away" is actually a ballad, believe it or not. Piano leads the melody and the use of electronic effects is absolutely minimal. The lyrics are about realizing how the gap between you and a person you love grows which will eventually end up in a separation.
"Hit you Back" is about rejection. "No matter what you do, I’m not in love with you" – who has never heard those words?
"Down on your Knees" has got some Depeche Mode touch to its sound, in my opinion. Really slightly. "I don’t Know You" is a nice mid-tempo song you can dance to without getting out of your breath. Actually, the lyrics do fit a place full of young adults. "Travelling" is a song about getting to know yourself and discovering things you were not aware of. Well, like Socrates used to say; know thyself.
There is a number of further songs truly worth to be checked out: "Kiss Kiss Bang Bang", My Door is Open" and a powerful "Payroll".
Unless The Sisters of Mercy unexpectedly come up with a brand new record, this is the re-union album of the year.

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